An award-winning film by brothers Syed Amjad Ali & Syed Danish explains the syndrome and disease that Schizophrenia is and how it can be handled.
Today is ‘World Mental Health Day’ and it comes as a reminder to talk about mental illness and disabilities that we often ignore or know nothing about. This day is significant to have a global conversation on the need to address the rising mental ailments and how everyone at their own individual levels can make a difference by simply having more knowledge and thereby, being of help in some way or the other.
This year, the theme is ‘Mental health in the workplace’. “Globally, more than 300 million people suffer from depression, the leading cause of disability. More than 260 million are living with anxiety disorders. Many of these people live with both”, informs World Health Organization.
Awareness is the first crucial step towards becoming an agent of change and ‘The Unreal Reality’, a documentary film that talks about Schizophrenia, is an attempt in that direction.
The purpose of the documentary was to create awareness about the illness, found in 1-2% of general population across the world. Someone close to Syed Amjad Ali, Co-Producer, ‘The Unreal Reality’ and the President of Mullen Lintas presently, suffered from Schizophrenia and that triggered the thought to spread awareness about it at large in the year 2009.
“It started off with intent to spread awareness but later, I realized it is an interesting subject. In fact I wanted to take it to a feature film level, the process of which is on. It will still take time though”, shares Amjad Ali.
The documentary features the late legendary actor Tom Alter and it gives an insight into the real problems of ‘Paranoid Schizophrenia’ and those who suffer from it. It also demonstrates how families can take care of their near & dear ones when this illness strikes.
Ali also shared that the body of work was purely personal. “Tom and I knew each other quite well due to our Delhi Theater connections. I was personally keen to do something on Schizophrenia hence we got together and worked it out. A lot of research was involved in this. Since it was our first attempt, we wanted to keep it very simple, easy to understand while also make it demonstrative and educational in nature”, says Ali, who co-produced the film with his brother Syed Danish, a Doctor in Detroit, US.
‘The Unreal Reality’ also received Accolade’s ‘Award of Merit’ in training video category.
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